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How does Clarke engage the reader through the begining of the play?

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How does Clarke engage the reader through the opening of the play? Brian Clarke uses several techniques to engage the reader. He immediately shows the audience Kens humorous personality, as he says "I am afraid I cant offer you my hand you will just have to put up with my backside instead". This is a crude joke, but also he introduces sexual innuendo, which will later become a recurring technique. On the first page Ken is seen to be helpless, because in the stage directions it says, "They rub spirit and talc into his back". This gives us the impression he cannot do it himself, and also it hints his condition. ...read more.


This makes the audience question whether Ken is really coping with his condition or if he uses his humour and rudeness to cover up his emotions. The nurse is also used as a way the audience find out about Kens condition, and his past. Clarke writes the nurse as a trainee which means she doesn't yet know all the rules of being professional, but most of all she is young and naive. This shows when she is having a conversation with Ken and he makes some sexual references, she doesn't really know how to handle it, then she answers him but in a very un-professional way. Her character is used to find out that Ken is quadriplegic. ...read more.


This helps the reader to understand and follow the story. When the stage directions say " He puts down his razor...Ken is delighted" This shows us Kens emotions, but also gives us an insight into the scene, that we otherwise wouldn't have got. Also it can be used as a technique, like when it says "roll him over and make the bed". This is a metaphor showing the routine and how his life will be from now on. But it also shows us that the setting is a hospital. Kens character is introduced as being unlike any other typical patient. His immediate banter with Dr Scott shows a bond that is un-professional and friendly. As soon as Dr Emerson is introduced the professionalism is set straight and we immediately see a contrast between the two characters. This contrast is most obvious when Nurse Sadler and Ken meet. " ...read more.

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